CommonLit The Library
CommonLit is a free collection of fiction and nonfiction for 3rd-12th grade classrooms. Search and filter our collection by lexile, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or common core standard.
The Life and Achievements of Thomas Edison
This informational text discusses the background and creations of famed American inventor Thomas Edison.
The Pit and the Pendulum
Edgar Allan Poe
In this story, an unnamed narrator describes the torments endured as a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition.
Excerpt from 'On Drought Conditions'
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR addresses the “Dust Bowl” problem of the 1930s — during which severe drought and erosion conditions led to a prolonged agricultural crisis.
Two Finalists Vie To Be 'Master Chef Junior'
David Greene (Host)
'Master Chef Junior' finalists set a good example for adult counterparts in final competition.
Walking for My Life
Jennifer Owings Dewey
A narrator must walk through the desert after their car is damaged.
The White Umbrella
A Chinese American girl sees a white umbrella she wishes she could have.
Serving in Florida: Excerpt from Nickel and Dimed
In this chapter, Ehrenreich begins her social experiment of living on minimum wage by searching for housing and a job.
The Brothers Grimm
A jealous queen torments a beautiful young girl.
The Rise of Greek City-States: Athens Versus Sparta
This text explores how vastly different city-states rose in Ancient Greece by comparing the cultures of Athens and Sparta.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
A Confederate sympathizer is hanged by Union soldiers.
Forever Young: America's Obsession with Never Growing Old
In this article, psychiatrist Dale Archer argues that the value which American culture places on youth and age shifted over time.
James Weldon Johnson
"My heart be brave," writes James Weldon Johnson, the civil rights activist and NAACP leader.
The Role Reverser: Growing Up Too Soon
Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D.
In this article, Dr. Gregory L. Jantz tells us a story of boy named Adam who "grew up too soon" after his parent's divorce.
Trail into Darkness
A boy gets lost while snowshoeing with his family.
Most Valuable Player
Sarah Van Arsdale
A speaker describes what it would be like to have a trophy for softball.
In the 1950s, the con-artist Frank Abagnale assumed eight different false identities.
The Bombing of Hiroshima
Jessica McBirney discusses the United States' decision to use an atomic bomb against Japan during World War II.
Empowering the Black Power Movement
This informational text discusses how the Black Power movement emerged as a major political force for African American empowerment in the 1960s and 1970s.
The Scramble for Africa
This informational text explains the origins and impact of the European and American colonization of Africa that took place during the late 19th and 20th centuries.